Monster of the Week: The Penanggalan

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Mother Penanggalan

Mother Penanggalan by Kurt Komoda CC2.0

The Penanggalan is a vampiric monster borne of black magic. She is a normal human during the day, usually a midwife by trade, but at night she can detatch her head from her body. The disembodied head can then fly about, dangling glistening entrails behind it, which she manipulates like tentacles.

The Penanggalan flies around looking for victims to feed on, her preferences being pregnant women, women who have very recently given birth, and babies. Victims who survive having had their blood sucked by a Penanggalan develop an almost-penanggalanalways fatal wasting disease. After feeding, and before dawn, she returns home, where she keeps a vat of vinegar handy. She soaks her entrails in the vinegar to shrink them, so they will more easily fit back into her body. This is one way to identify a Penanggalan in daylight—she always smells of vinegar.
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